Music Bugle Exclusive – Q & A – Charlie Rogers

Photo courtesy of Charlie Rogers Facebook page.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

Nashville country charmer Charlie Rogers set the scene ablaze this past summer when he dropped his single “When He Was Me,” notable for being co-written by Shay Mooney (Dan + Shay) and Benjy Davis (Jake Owen, Anderson East, Maddie & Tae).

Producer Joshua Gleave (Chris Young, The Swon Brothers) and Kelly Clarkson’s longtime drummer, Lester Estelle Jr. also helped to put the finishing touches on “When He Was Me,” a Western ballad that details an emotional journey where love slips through one’s hands and forces feelings of heartbreak and hopelessness.

Over time, the singer-songwriter has captivated audiences and gotten to open for artists like Russell Dickerson, Brothers Osborne and Janelle Arthur and also played CMA honors ceremonies for Charley Pride and Ricky Skaggs.

The Music Bugle had the chance to speak with Rogers about his stance on the use of AI in music, if he feels mental health is important in the industry and much more, which you can check out below.

Music Bugle – What was the moment that inspired you to become a musician?

Charlie Rogers – I don’t know if I can pinpoint the exact moment, it’s always been something I’ve just kind of done. I started out at the piano fairly young, but even before then, I was singing nonstop and walking onto various stages requesting a microphone, which is very counter to what I would describe as my normally fairly reserved behavior. I guess it all boils down to the stage feeling a bit to me like home. It’s the place where I feel the most alive and invigorated.

Music Bugle – How would you describe Nashville to someone who has never been there before? 

Charlie Rogers – Nashville has changed quite a lot in the twelve-going-on-thirteen years that I have been here. When I got here, it truly was a “Little Big Town,” where everyone knows everyone and everything here was fairly established and had history. Now, unfortunately, a lot of that has been stripped away in favor of commercialism. The downtown area bares its name of “Nashvegas” appropriately with its neon lights, rambunctious crowds and near constant goings on, but the rest of the city has its own unique personalities as well. Each part of Nashville really carries its own highs and lows and almost acts in a similar manner to boroughs with distinct architecture, locals, food scene and life. Nashville, in a lot of ways, is like the Los Angeles of the south, though I think we’re a lot cleaner of a city.

Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?

Charlie Rogers – I’m guilty of being someone who has a saved library of songs based off of what has been fed to me by the algorithm or by the media that I’ve been watching. My weekly “for you” playlists are usually my source of new music, which usually ends up filling my library with a bunch of random songs by random artists, as does attaining them from sync. I think we as a society are currently obsessing over “What Was I Made For” by Billie Eilish and “Ur So Pretty” by Wasia Project. In the country world, I’ve been digging the new Old Dominion album and the new Dan + Shay project, naturally! All of that being said, I’m a fairly big Swiftie, so “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” has been in rotation quite a bit as well.

Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?

Charlie Rogers – It’s a mix of both. I think in terms of the capital ‘I’ Industry, it hurts us. Music has become less about the potential of an artist, or the unique art being made and more of a snatch-and-grab for the next, or current, thing that is trending, but that sword is double-edged. The same platforms and practices that hurt us also enable us, with more artists than ever having the ability to have a voice and share their lives over the internet in the hopes of gaining new fans and maintaining/deepening relationships with the current ones. I do think that we get caught up in the clip game a little bit, of trying to find the segments of our songs that we think will pop off online.

Music Bugle – What’s your stance on the use of AI in music?

Charlie Rogers – I think no matter your stance, it’s inevitable. I think it’s cool to hear AI covers, where you pull in one artist’s voice to sing another’s track, but I don’t think we as a society will ever fully embrace AI music as an actual entity until we’ve graduated from the current “AI” that is just machine learning, to actual AI with personality, goals, aspirations, etc.. I also don’t know if humans will ever fully embrace AI artists because we love ourselves a concert. Where jobs are concerned; sync, composition, etc., I find it troubling, especially since so much of what makes a score or a soundtrack great is the human element and the unique experience or experimentation behind the work in question.

Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?

Charlie Rogers – Depends on how big of one I need! The local answer is the gym or a restaurant that I love. The more local answer is in my couch to disassociate with a game or a show. The further answer is diving. I’m an avid diver, the ocean is the place where I feel the most at peace with hiding out under the surface being the most ideal.

Music Bugle – How important is mental health in the music industry? 

Charlie Rogers – In short, incredibly! We all have our own mental health challenges, but when those are pushed under the rug or overlooked in favor of profit and/or performance, all it does is bottle those feelings up and reinforce this stigma that those we look up to in the music world are Godly figures who are not like us and don’t have the same health demands as we do, which creates a disconnect both between the artist and their fans and the artist and the world. That, in turn, further isolates and perpetuates the problem. I wish we were more open about our struggles, especially those who we perceive as untouchable.

Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do? 

Charlie Rogers – I don’t know if I have a specific quote or at least one isn’t coming to mind. What I do have is a series of affirmations that pop up as reminders on my phone throughout the day and the notion that as a kid and a teen, there was no one in the music industry like me who I could look up to, so the hope is that somewhere out there, I’m filling that void for someone. Some of my affirmations include – I am an incredibly talented singer/songwriter that everyone wants to work with. I am talented, I am abundant and I am worthy. I am increasingly famous; I am a household name. My gifts are of high service and are worthy of massive compensation.

Music Bugle – What show are you currently binging on? 

Charlie Rogers – I’m so behind on TV. I’m also not someone who goes back and rewatches TV shows unless I’m trying to get someone else into them or they fall in the category that I call my “sleep cartoons.” These are adult animations that helps me sleep on the nights where my insomnia is overly aggressive. They are “Futurama,” “Family Guy,” “American Dad,” “Solar Opposites,” “Rick And Morty” and “Bob’s Burgers.” That being said, I just binged season 2 of “Heartstopper” and am in need of a new season ASAP. I just started “Silo” and “The Crowded Room” on Apple TV+. As a massive “Star Wars” fan, I really enjoyed the “Ahsoka” show on Disney+ and I’m slowly working my way through finishing this past season of “Abbott Elementary.”

Music Bugle – What’s a song that instantly takes you back to better times? 

Charlie Rogers – I’m a sucker for melancholy, so the songs that “take me back” are seldom the happiest. I like a song that fills me with nostalgia such as “Turning Home” by David Nail, “Back To December” by Taylor Swift, “Those That I’ve Loved Along The Way” by Eric Church, “Somebody Else” by The 1975, or “In My Life” by The Beatles.


Help Support The Music Bugle!

Help Support The Music Bugle!

Help Support The Music Bugle!

Without you, none of this is possible. Any contributions will go directly towards helping us grow and continue to shine a spotlight on up-and-coming and independent musicians everywhere!


Or enter a custom amount


Your contribution is most certainly appreciated!

Your contribution is most certainly appreciated!

Your contribution is most certainly appreciated!

DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly

Leave a Reply

search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close